All the President's Men
The downfall of Nixon and his cronies
All the President's Men is great illustration of how investigative journalism works. Its two leads, Robert Redford (Bob Woodward) and Dustin Hoffman (Carl Bernstein) slowly unravel the paper trail of abuses occurring under the Nixon Administration. The great lengths that the administration goes to to cover up the initial burglary and then all of its fallout is astonishing. This film does a great job in showing how many people knew of the administrations various abuses, but declined to speak out because of the possibility of reprisals. In the end, the Watergate scandal was and is still one of the most sickening abuses of power ever committed by the Office of the President of the United States and the film is very effective in showing this.
The acting in the film is very good. Redford and Hoffman are at the top of their games as expected, but Jason Robards is fantastic in supporting role as Ben Bradlee, publisher of the Washington Post, as he conveys how grave the consequences of failure are for the two journalists. The take on Deep Throat (played by Hal Holbrook) is especially intriguing, as it was not known at the time who Deep Throat was, with Mark Felt coming forward as Deep Throat in 2005. Director Alan J. Pakula successfully shrouds Holbrook in shadows and darkness, a brilliant touch.
Overall this film is an outstanding political thriller. It slowly builds as Woodward and Bernstein follow the money all the way to the top, before reaching its end and the Nixon White House implodes. The slow build will bore some people and the ending is somewhat unsatisfying, but as a whole All the President's Men is a very effective film as it chronicles the abuses of the Nixon administration.